Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan arrives at 2012 amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Hotel Du Cap on May 24, 2012 in Cap D'Antibes, France. Credit: Venturelli/

World's most beautiful woman? Sounds about right!

Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her red carpet return to the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday night at the star-studded AmfAR Cinema Against AIDS gala. The Bollywood star and former Miss World, 38, has been a mainstay at the film festival for years, but 2012's proceedings are her first since giving birth to daughter Aaradhya with husband and fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan last November.

Since becoming a mom, the beloved star has been the subject of harsh criticism in her native India for her supposed failure to drop her baby weight. (One critic said it was "her duty" to get thin ASAP to maintain her superstar image.)

Bachchan shrugged off that negativity at Thursday's gala with a jaw-dropping ensemble: a gold embroidered sari, coordinated with a tailored jacket and Mandarin collar; the Bride and Prejudice star wore her hair up with a slim gold headband, and accentuated her world-famous eyes with dark eyeliner.

"Aishwarya is like a goddess. She is held up as the ideal of beauty and so there is an expectation on her to look perfect at all times," one defender explained of the uproar over Rai's post-baby figure. "The role models being held up are Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham . . .this whole business of looking desperately skinny two weeks after giving birth is a Western import."

Rai has said she simply wants to "enjoy motherhood" with little Aaradhya.

Tell Us: What do you think of her look at Cannes?